Appearing on the cover of this week’s Stylist magazine to mark the release of My Body, a new collection of essays in which she documents her life, Emily Ratajkowski speaks to author Terri White about why the notion of female empowerment is far more complicated than we often realise.
Emily Ratajkowski is one of the most recognised women in the world, with over 28.5 million followers on Instagram who know her as a successful model, actress and influencer. But with the release of her new book My Body on 10 November, Ratajkowski is holding up a mirror to her life and analysing how that fame has impacted her sense of self.
In this week’s edition of Stylist – available to download now - Ratajkowski speaks to author Terri White about how complex it has been navigating the idea of female empowerment - specifically the complexity of finding power in your looks, what you wear and how you present your body. “All of a sudden, every single thing that had ever made me feel validated and good about myself was questioned,” she says.
The interview details Ratajkowski’s’ early experience of being told: “learn to keep your voice down, girls like you get into trouble”, as well as navigating the modelling industry, and what ultimately spurred her to pursue an acting career later on – one of her most memorable performances being in the film Gone Girl. She also addresses the “complicated power of attraction” and the role her mother played in helping her understand womanhood.
Ratajkowski also talks about her experience of filming the infamous Blurred Lines video with singer Robin Thicke in 2013. She tells how the overnight fame that followed it affected her mental health and of the process she had to go through to recognise what happened on the video shoot – she alleges that Thicke groped her breasts – as assault.
“I think I’m still recognising it as such,” Ratajkowski explains. “The news leaked this past weekend and it’s like, ‘Emily Ratajkowski accuses Robin Thicke of sexual assault.’ Seeing that makes me bristle. Because I feel like those words have such weight to them in this era. And there isn’t a lot of nuance allowed.
“But I do remember what the experience felt like in that moment. And how embarrassing it was for me. That part of it, I just… I don’t know, I guess that’s the thing that led me down the path of writing about it and processing it.”
In the interview, Ratajkowski shares how her experience of writing her book was both cathartic and painful, and how urgently there needs to be a crucial shift in how we educate and prevent men from being allowed to consider taking power over a woman’s body as “not a big deal”.
To read the full Emily Ratajkowski interview and find out more about what to expect from her memoir My Body, download this week’s edition of Stylist magazine.